My brain feels like it just experienced a two hour session as a tackle dummy, and no, it has nothing to do with having just watched the Oscars or network TV. It has to do with modern life. Silly old modern life. The kind of lives we lead in this day and age are insane, are they not? Life continually piles on us a minutia of important “necessities” which eventually buries you in a blanket of wet snow. You don’t even know you have a foot of cold stuff on your shoulders until its too late. Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to the good old less complicated days?
What have I been doing to that makes me scoff at our modern life? Taxes.
Yes, I just completed my taxes. I even used an online service which charges way too much, but the ease of use makes it too tempting to complete it any other way. And even with the aid of the Internet and an online service that knows all the ins and outs, I still walk away with a brain full of mush. (I realize some of it might have been there before the taxes, but still …)
We all know how complicated the wizards of Washington have made tax filing, but if that was the extent of the mind-boggling complications of the modern world, then maybe I could accept it. But it’s not even close.
I’m also working with my son this weekend to complete college documents. We’ve already sunk enough time into the FAFSA. Now we have to do something called verification. I guess we seem shady for some reason. Okay, let’s verify these documents. Hmmm, in order to do this, it reverts back to taxes. What do you know? I need my 2015 tax returns. Okay, they’re on some digital storage that I have. Here they are. Wait. What’s the password? Oh, if I forget the password, I can make a new one. Delightful. Let’s login to email.
As if taxes and colleges weren’t enough this weekend, I’ll be moving to my new job in 5.5 months, so it’s time to get cracking. Employment documents. Transcripts. Passport numbers. Addresses and phone numbers of every place I’ll be over the next 5 months.
We modern travelers are surrounded by documents, numbers, and complicated tasks, made easier, yet actually more complicated by our computers. They are amazing at complicating simplification.
So on days like this, I long for the good old uncomplicated days. Example: I remember as a boy, putting on my blue jeans and a t-shirt and going over to our friend’s farm. I would run ahead of the wagon and tractor, gathering into stacks newly formed hay balls, and then throwing them on the wagon and stacking them in unique and creative ways. We’d unload them in the barn, and then the farmer’s mother would call us in for a huge spread of meat, potatoes, bread, home-made root beer, and a variety of pies and cakes. Not one of us checked our cell phones all day. Not one of us worried about tax forms or documents or numbers, except for how many slices of pie we would eat.
I sometimes miss the simplicity of old-fashioned hard work out in the sun. You do your job, then it’s done. There aren’t twenty emails to answer when I got home.
Life back then wasn’t perfect. But it was simpler. I think all of us modern folks could use a little simplification in our lives.